Rasharkin rower in Irish team

Australia's James Medway (b), Aaron Wright, Louis Snelson and Timothy Masters (s) during the start of their heat in the under 23 men's four at the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

Australia's James Medway (b), Aaron Wright, Louis Snelson and Timothy Masters (s) during the start of their heat in the under 23 men's four at the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

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A north Antrim man is helping to maintain the tradition of international success in rowing.

Matthew Wray, 19, from near Rasharkin, recently returned from Linz in Austria where he competed at the World Rowing Under23 Championships. Matthew learned to row at Bann Rowing Club in Coleraine, inspired by the success of Alan Campbell, Richard Chambers, Peter Chambers and Richard Archibald, and won several Irish Championships at Junior level, but has spent the last year in Belfast with Rowing Ireland’s High Performance Development squad, benefiting from help with equipment by Belfast Rowing Club, and training, conditioning and nutritional guidance from the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland.

He had success in England during the last year, including competing at Henley Royal Regatta. In Austria, Matthew rowed a coxless four, representing Ireland with Jonny Mitchell from Coleraine and two crewmates from Galway, racing against top international sides such as Australia, Italy, Great Britain and the USA. Their crew came ninth in the world, a very creditable performance.